Pagan Transitions™ “Death is but a doorway...... “ Taliesen Pagan Transitions 2004-2015 Copyright ©Pagan Transitions 2004-2019 HOME Heathen (Asatru/Odinist/Northern Traditions)  Beliefs and Ceremony information written by Pippah AUK Kin


Heathenism is an ancestral polytheistic religion, stemming from the ancient beliefs of those in countries such as Scandinavia, Iceland, Greenland, Norway, Denmark and Germany. There are many identifying names which come under this such as Asatru (meaning 'belief in the Gods,) Vanatru, and Odinism to name a few of them. There are a wide range of afterlife beliefs amongst communities across the world, however there are some aspects which remain steadfast; 


Valhalla is Odin's Hall of the glorious fallen. Situated in Asgard; the home of the Gods, this is where those who have died in combat go to await Ragnarok; the final battle. It is generally agreed that the requirements for entry are that the warrior must have a weapon in their hands when they died, and wounds to their front to show that they were heading into battle with bravery and conviction. Those who are chosen are taken to Valhalla by the Valkyries; Odin's battle maidens, across the Bifrost bridge connecting Asgard and Midgard (our world), to enjoy a cycle of fighting every day and feasting every night, until the Ragnarok comes. 


This is the battle field held by the Goddess Freyja. Freyja has an agreement with Odin that the first half of the dead will go to her instead. Therefore, though Valhalla is generally the Hall of choice for Heathens, Freyja actually gets first pick. it is theorised that she takes this half to observe the Hjathningavig, a legendry eternal battle in Norse mythology. A lot of modern Heathens do not pay a lot of heed to this option however, concentrating instead on Valhalla. In the end though, this is in the hands of the Gods. 

Inglorous Deaths; 

For those who do not die a heroic or notable death, there is a lot of speculation and options as to where you go. Some believe that you will go to another hall in Asgard; to one of the other Gods. Some believe you will go to Niflhel, the realm of ice given to the goddess Hel, to hold those who do not die in battle. There is also the theory that Urd, one of the three Norns of fate, takes you to the Helgate, through where judgement is served upon you in conjunction with your Fylgia (guardian spirit). Those who have not dishonoured themselves in life are given a home in a land of beautiful fields and valleys, where as those who have dishonoured themselves are taken for punishment. 

A lot of personal belief is involved when it comes to Heathen afterlife. Where-ever possible, see if you can find out what the deceased believed. If you are part of the deceased's Hearth, this should be apparent, but if you are not, or are reading this as someone outside Heathenism; ask the deceased's Hearth kin. 

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